What supplements should I use in martial arts?

If you’re looking for advice on what supplements to use in martial arts, first figure out whether you should be using them at all. You should be able to get everything you need, especially if you’re young from a good diet plan. However, there are a few reasons people, myself included take supplements regularly as a part of their diet.

1. Meal replacement

I’m pretty busy day to day so it’s easier for me to throw some instant oats and some whey into a blender with a banana for breakfast than make an omeltte or porridge. This means they replace the meal with a quick and easy alternative and I get some good carbs, protein and micronutrients in early on.

2. Convenience

If you’re living with your parents, you might not be able to buy all the food you want every day so making up for it with supplements is a possiblity. Same goes for if the shops close to you don’t sell food which fits your diet plan that well, the gap in macronutrients can be made up using supplements.


If you’re living in the U.K or northwards or in New Zealand, over winter you may want to look at taking vitamin D3 as you probably aren’t getting enough from sunlight because you’ll probably be more covered up, be inside longer and obviously, the sun goes down earlier. Lower vitamin D can lower your testosterone levels so keeping a good intake up can be beneficial.

Supplements which you should use (if you need to)

Main message here is keep it simple, supplement companies love to bombard you with ads and promises of better performance, but what they tend to do is mix a few simple things together and mark the price up.


If you’re eating brown rice, chicken and oats every day, liklihood is you’re not getting enough micronutrients (vitamines and minerals) in. Finding a good multi-vitamin can help a lot with loads of health aspects from sleep cycles to digestion. Be careful however, taking too much of certain vitamines like vitamin C it can lead to health risks (C particularly as some companies sell vit C pills with around 200% RDA).


Creatine works. It’s not a steroid and it’s not illegal to take for competition. It takes about 3 weeks to accumulate in your body to make a difference so don’t expect to be the hulk overnight. Again, the message with creatine is to keep it simple, companies sell all sorts of creatine, most of which haven’t been shown to be any better than regular creatine monohydrate.

Instant oats

As I mentioned before, I take these as a breakfast replacement. They’re a good source of carbs and can be quickly made in a shaker or a blender and mixed with other things too. Don’t try to cook them though, trust me, it doesn’t work.

Whey protein

This is a good quality source of protien. Ideally you should be consuming 1g of protein per lb of lean muscle mass (you’d need to calculate your body fat % to find this figure) so if you need more protein, it’s a good place to start. If you do get enough protein, no matter what the supplement companies say, more whey protein won’t really do anything. Check what you buy as well as some brands pack their whey protein with sugar in the flavourings. So if you need it, it’s good to take, if you don’t need it, don’t bother.

Vitamin D3

This is a great way to raise your vitamin D level back up to where they should be during winter months. As I said before, if your vitamin D levels drop, your testosterone can too so it’s worth taking duirng the darker, colder months.


There are a lot of supplements out there and a lot of rubbish too. Ideally, you’ll have enough of all your nutrition in your regular diet but the world isn’t ideal so supplementing can be necessary. If you do choose to buy, keep it simple and buy individual ingredients over big expensive stacks which have loads of stuff you don’t need.

Thanks for reading, if you enjoy reading our articles, sign up to our email list with the link below  to recieve updates as well as more free content, interesting posts I’ve found as well as early updates on any products we might bring out in the future.http://forms.aweber.com/form/82/368267382.htm

What supplements do you use? Comment below and like our facebook page for more posts on martial arts. Also check out these videos by Omar Isuf, an intelligent power-lifter, on this topic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axZGhPPp3k8 3 good health supplements

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYKKwWxT19w 3 overrated supplements

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4WvJSEGZr4 some good info on whey protein

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLRbUHAfkV0 some good info on creatine

Photo credits to pastorfit.com

Judo techniques to avoid in MMA

If you’re thinking of either adding judo to your arsenal, or using your judo base to get into MMA, here are some things you should think about avoiding to make your training more useful, and to prevent giving your opponant an easy advantage. When reading, bear in mind the difference in rules between the sports which will inform how you adapt judo to your MMA game.


This is being thorough in judo. Overthrowing ensures ippon (a win in judo). This is where you commit yourself so much to the throw that you follow over onto your back as well. For mixed martial arts you need to think about being strong in your throw, with enough control that you land on your opponant in a good position. If you overthrow, you give up your back, you might have gotten a highlight reel ippon, but they’ve just won the fight with a rear naked choke. Check out the videos below, one of a good judo throw, and one of Ronda Rousey’s fight agains Alexis Davis. The difference being the overthrow in judo vs the controlled throw in MMA.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0_VPtDGv18 – Judo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc_I8ltkkoU – MMA

Landing on your front

Great for judo but gives a mixed martial artist a good position to attack you. If you feel like you’re going to be thrown in an MMA fight, go with it and try your best to pull guard, landing on your front will likely land you in all sorts of trouble.

Throws to guard

While you can attack from in someone’s guard, judo helps bypass this which can be potentially vulnerable. These are throws like Ouchi gari, kouchi gari and all the varients therin as well as morote gari (double leg takedown). Most mixed martial artists are at least adept at jiujitsu and open guard can be a strong point for them. Your advantage with judo is that you can skip all the guard passes by using a throw to land you in a good position from the off so while these techniques can be used and do have their utility in MMA, there are better alternatives.

Techniques that need a gi

These are throws like Morote seoi-nage and tomoi nage as well as most strangles and several hold downs. This is pretty obvious as you don’t fight in a gi in MMA but if you’re training at a judo club but MMA is your focus sport, it’s probably best to find some alternatives which are more specific to no-gi grappling.

If you’re starting to train judo, bear these points in mind as you train so it’s best optimised for your MMA game. If you’re already a judo fighter, make sure you start to get out of the habbit of using some of these techniques if you’re doing MMA so you stand the best possible chance.

Thanks for reading, if you enjoy reading our articles, sign up to our email list with the link below  to recieve updates as well as more free content, interesting posts I’ve found as well as early updates on any products we might bring out in the future.http://forms.aweber.com/form/82/368267382.htm

Has judo helped your MMA game? Commet below and share this post. Check out our facebook page for more martial arts content.

Photo credits to prommatraining.com

7 tips for handling yourself on training camps.

Session 1

A post shared by Carl Finney (@judoc2) on

Before you start reading, this article is mostly focussed towards judoka as it seems to be the only sport where these big technical and randori (sparring) camps occur. So if you don’t practice judo you don’t need to read this, it doesn’t really apply to what you do (even though I believe sports like mixed martial arts or BJJ should have similar setups). You may find it interesting or even useful and I’ll write without any judo specific jargon so its easy to read, but you aren’t specifically who I’m directing this towards so don’t feel you need to read it.

1. Kit

You arrive at the camp with a suitcase, maybe a holdall as well and this is what you are surviving off for the next few days. Keep it in order. Make a mental list of what you’ve brought so you don’t lose stuff. Make sure it’s packed away, the dirty clothes separate from the clean and your gi is out to dry for the next session. Keep on top of this admin and it’s another stress off your mind while you’re training and keeps the neat freaks sleeping in your vacinity happy.

2. Moral

Keep good group moral. A good positive mental attitude on camp improves your training and makes the whole thing more enjoyable. Make sure you’re looking after your group keeping their moral high and avoiding conflict. Health issues and injuries can come from conflict and bullying issues in the group and can even result in victims faking injury to sit out sessions (I’ve seen this occur). There are several factors to managing your personal moral: nutrition, sleep, injury management and your practice habits which I’ll discuss as other points.

3. Have good practice habits.

Spend your time in an effective way. This doesn’t include stuff like warming up and cooling down but I’m talking about who you train with. Try to spend 1/3 of your practices with people worse than you. This allows you to successfully try new techniques, gives you some room for error and allows you to hone your best techniques, all the while giving you a small moral boost from victory. Next spend 1/3 of your practices with someone on your level. This ups the difficulty and forces you to be more precise with your techniques as well as givning you some challenging defensive work. Then spend the last 1/3 of your time with people markedly better than you. This gives you something to aspire to, to analyse their game as well as improve your defensive game as well as seeing if anything you can do will work on them. This is a business idea by a guy called Tai Lopez and it works well in martial arts too. This is his full talk about the idea if you’re interested.

4. Have good injury management

Good habits around training can stave off unneccesary injuries. This means warming up and cooling down properly and using a foam roller to help your body recover. Knowing or learning a bit about taping joints can help if you pick up a minor strain which you can train on with a bit of added suppot. Taping fingers early on rather than waiting for them to get all bashed up also helps as well as bringing a good stock of tape (climbing tape is best) ibuprofen tablets and gel as well as a good number of those poping ice packs. Recognising when you’re injured beyond basic recovery is important too as training on that injury could seriously impact on your future training.

5. Eat lots

You’ll be training more than usual so it’s going to be a good idea to eat more than usual too. Most camps provide 3 meals per day which usually isn’t enough. For those of you who don’t have a dieticion or know how to manage your diet properly (and aren’t going straight from camp to competition). I would recomend eating as much as possible at meal times as well as having another meal in the day too. This prevents you from losing weight and muscle which you will need to put back on before you fight and any fat you gain (you probably won’t make much by way of muscle gains) you can cut down properly under a structured regime when you’re home again. If you’re not eating enough your body won’t recover as well and you won’t be making the most of the training camp.

6. Stay hydrated

You’ll be sweating out a lot so a good habit I used was to keep one water bottle filled with electrolyte drink and one with water. Ideally you’ll be hitting 2-3L per day and more if you’re in a hot country. This is so important as you can get some serious health complications if you’re not hydrated properly or your electrolyte balance is out which can take you out of training as well as improving your cognative function and keeping you more alert when working.

7. Sleep

For proper body recovery, you need sleep. You’ll need more than usual as you’re working much harder than usual. People often end up going out when away in a foreign country for a drink or even out clubbing. Its a mistake and reduces your performance and practice quality. Think to yourself – why am I on this camp? You’re there to get new practices and learn new techniques. With less sleep you don’t learn as well and you can’t concentrate as hard so your learning will be reduced, and your practice will suffer as your attention and physical recovery are impacted. You’ve travelled and paid for a training camp, you can go out and party when you’re at home. On that note don’t sleep during the day either, rest and recover but stay awake, otherwise you’ll just feel more tired come the afternoon/evening session.

Thanks for reading, if you enjoy reading our articles, sign up to our email list with the link below  to recieve updates as well as more free content, interesting posts I’ve found as well as early updates on any products we might bring out in the future.http://forms.aweber.com/form/82/368267382.htm

What’s the best training camp you’ve been on? Comment below and like our facebook page. If you’re interested in a big international judo camp with people of all competetive abilities, check out C2 international camp, Tonbridge here http://www.c2judoevents.co.uk/

Photo credits to @judoc2 on instagram

How to win more fights by tap out.

A lot of clubs I’ve visited regardless of if they’re Mixed martial arts, bjj or judo, tend to separate standing and groundwork. This is an odd way of training from my point of view and is probably a sort of coaching tradition because one of the best times to submit or takedown/throw an opponant is in a transition period, a brief moment of confusion when your opponant has to mentally shift their focus from one aspect of the game to another. I’m going to first talk about my success using transitions then some drills you can use in your sport be it Judo, BJJ or MMA.

So going back a few years I was on the national circuit and I gained a couple of national medals but never made the podium at the national championships. That summer we worked day in day out on our submission drills from checking a throw (mostly drop seoi-nage which at the time was very common in judo). Come the national championships, after a defeat in the first round I won every single fight bar 1 with the same strangle that I’d been drilling over summer from the transition. It’s a great time to attack.

The same can be seen in the top levels of the UFC, Jon Jones submitted Vitor Belfort, a much more qualified grappler, by taking him down and quickly moving to side control, then landing a couple of strikes and catching the arm for an americana. Ronda Rousey almost always tries to hit her throws such that she lands in a good position on the ground but her quickest win ever against Cat Zingano was in that brief moment of confusion between standing and groundwork where an arm was free.


So what can we do to work on these transitions? Basically identify when one distinct part of the game moves to another and practice that change so that you have a better position in the new part of the fight. This can even be as simple as passing a guard. Here are some examples:

  • Takedown to submission (Hip throw (ogoshi) to armbar (juji-gatame) for instance)
  • checked or sprawled takedown to submission
  • strikes to takedown
  • strikes to clinch
  • clinch to takedown

These are just a few MMA related examples but you can apply the same framework to any submission grappling, judo, BJJ or any others. The old saying “strike to pass, pass to strike” is essentially capitalising on that brief moment between striking and grappling which are so often kept separate which makes this a niche you can exploit.

Thanks for reading, if you enjoy reading our articles, sign up to our email list with this link http://forms.aweber.com/form/82/368267382.htm to recieve updates as well as more free content, interesting posts I’ve found as well as early updates on any products we might bring out in the future.

What transition drills do you use? Comment below and like our facebook page for more free content.

Image credits to sherdog.com

How to optimise your cardio training for martial arts.

The traditional view of cardio is practice which is quite detatched from the martial art. Classic boxing training involves a lot of running sometimes even up to 10km runs aside from the sports practice. This was very much the case in my own competetive days I would be running 3-4 times per week along side 4 one-and-a-half to two hour sessions of judo per week and a circuit training session. This cardio heavy approach to training is somewhat outdated and we need a new look into what cardio we do as well as when and how we do it.

Make it sports specific

How often do you run in a relatily straight line or up a hill in martial arts? Imagine how much better your technique would be if you replaced a 20-40 minute run with sports practice like focus mits, throwing practice (nage or uchi-komi) or rolling drills. At the very least a skipping rope should be used in place of running as its somewhat more accurate to the sport than running. Mike Israetel has a good video on the negative effects of slamming people with extra running.

Change the workout structure (HIIT)

High intensity interval training (HIIT) is the new big thing at the moment amongst cardio shy gym rats as well as in the sporting world. It has tonnes of fitness benefits which you can find here: http://www.coachcalorie.com/hiit-training/

Best of all it makes sense, you won’t normally be working for any period longer than 5 minutes in a martial art and probably not all at the same pace. It would make sense to make the intervals you train for the same length as the round you fight in competition as well as making the rest periods somewhat similar. For mixed martial arts for instance, if you had 3×3 minute rounds with 1 minute rests, do 3×3 minute intervals with 1 minute rests. Again don’t do this at a constant pace either, up the tempo or sprint for periods of time, even up to 15 seconds at a time. This specialises your body to your sport and uses your time optimally.

MMA workout exercises

So here are some examples of some movements you can do to work cardio, while practicing your sport.

  • Skipping rope
  • Focus pads
  • clinch fighting
  • throwing/takedown practice
  • wrestling
  • rolling
  • bag work
  • bjj drills

The forms of sparring I’ve included are the grappling centred as they carry the least injury risk in comparason to striking sparring. Obviously you shouldn’t neglect standup striking but if its purely for cardio training then why take the risk?

Judo exercises

I’m including these as its my first sport and they also carry great utility to mixed martial arts as well as another way to change up your training.

  • Skipping rope
  • uchi komi on bunjees (check out Neil Adams’ product)
  • uchi komi with an uki
  • nage komi
  • grip fighting
  • no-gi randori
  • randori
  • bag work
  • kuzushi

If you’re interested in more content on cardio for judo, check out this article on judoinfo.com



Remeber, practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent. Training time and recovery times are limited so make the optimum use of both. Running will make you better at running and maybe a little better at fighting but practicing martial arts specific cardio will give you the most benefit for your time investment.

Thanks for reading, if you enjoy reading our articles, sign up to our email list with the link below  to recieve updates as well as more free content, interesting posts I’ve found as well as early updates on any products we might bring out in the future.http://forms.aweber.com/form/82/368267382.htm

What cardio methods do you use? comment below and don’t forget to like our facebook page for more articles and videos.